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    Summer routines

    Would be interested to hear from others how you give your kids a break in the summer while still maintaining some structure. I'm trying to be proactive about this because if I don't, I know they're going to spend too much time on screens!
    2 boys, 5th and 3rd grade cores
    6 and 3 year old girls in Montessori school

    #2
    Re: Summer routines

    I still like some structure to our days in the summer, and then fill in blocks of time with lots of swimming and outings. We begin our mornings with prayers and Bible reading, just like on school days. I also continue to do some preschool with my youngest after that. In the afternoons, we all have a timed rest period with books on our beds and then I read aloud a few chapters from a book to them all after that.

    I don't allow screen games except for short periods of time on the weekends. They might watch a show of my choosing or part of a movie after dinner on weeknights, but no other screen time allowed. There are plenty of books, toys, games, and supplies to keep them busy and creative. If someone complains of being bored, I can always pull out a spelling workbook or suggest they review their Latin . They stop complaining then for some reason...

    One thing I try to impress on them is that being on break does not mean we become totally lazy or self indulgent. It is a great opportunity for God given relaxation and soul refreshment, but we can still use our time intentionally to serve and bless others in ways that we don't have the time to do when school takes up most of our day. I try to curb attitudes of "needing to be entertained" all the time, which breeds selfishness and discontent. Instead, we look for ways to be outward focused and productive.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Summer routines

      Angela has such great points, and we actually follow a summer routine that is very similar - though not right away. When we finish school, I usually do give us about two weeks to be in total break-mode. We have not had the chance to do many family vacations, so I give them a couple of weeks of being left completely to their own devices so that they can a) really relax after the long school year, and b) realize that they cannot continue like that forever or the whole house will go mad!!! At THAT point, they are ready to welcome in a summer routine!

      We also try to start with our regular Saint reading and prayer time, and then I continue doing a bit of reading and math practice with my little ones. (My bigger kids do a bit of Latin practice, and some are still finishing their math books, which they work on then too.) Then we usually pack up and head to the pool. Some years we have been without a pool, and that is always a lot more challenging. I start climbing the walls pretty fast. When I was a kid, we had a pool right next to our neighborhood, so we would ride our bikes and spend every waking moment there, from swim practice in the morning to all afternoon until dinner. Somehow, it just doesn't feel like summer unless everything I own smells like chlorine and sunscreen! So, we are once again members at a pool and everyone is loving it. It tires everyone out and makes the house very quiet once we come home and I start dinner.

      On days we don't end up going, we will run some errands or hit the library. They have just about worked their way through our local, small town library's collection of readable books, so we may have to scout out a new one before too long. I do let them check out DVD's from the library to help out on afternoons/evenings because it is a treat that we do not do as much in the school year. We usually get at least one nature-themed documentary-type, and then things like Road to Avonlea or the like that are great "sit-down with all ages" sorts of things. I also let my teens pick out some just for them because if they spend their whole day reading (which is quite possible) they are often in the mood for something different by evening-time.

      This will be our third summer in a row that we are moving, so somehow, THAT has become a part of our summer routine too - but hopefully not again for a long time after this one!

      AMDG,
      Sarah
      2020-2021
      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
      DS, 17
      DD, 15
      DD, 13
      DD, 11
      DD, 9
      DD, 7
      +DS+
      DS, 2

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Summer routines

        Originally posted by Angela View Post

        One thing I try to impress on them is that being on break does not mean we become totally lazy or self indulgent. It is a great opportunity for God given relaxation and soul refreshment, but we can still use our time intentionally to serve and bless others in ways that we don't have the time to do when school takes up most of our day. I try to curb attitudes of "needing to be entertained" all the time, which breeds selfishness and discontent. Instead, we look for ways to be outward focused and productive.
        Angela, that's such a good point you raise. I had not looked at this from the perspective of the "bigger picture." Thank you so much!
        2 boys, 5th and 3rd grade cores
        6 and 3 year old girls in Montessori school

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Summer routines

          [
          This will be our third summer in a row that we are moving, so somehow, THAT has become a part of our summer routine too - but hopefully not again for a long time after this one!

          [/QUOTE]

          This for us, too! Except I guess this summer is our 4th one in a row of moving. Hopefully our last for awhile.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Summer routines

            Originally posted by KF2000 View Post

            This will be our third summer in a row that we are moving, so somehow, THAT has become a part of our summer routine too - but hopefully not again for a long time after this one!

            AMDG,
            Sarah
            You are moving again? I've been off the board and miss stuff... Goodness. I will say moving keeps the belongings streamlined. I hope it goes smoothly for you!
            Bean. Long time MP user. Almost retired homeschool mom and university faculty/ librarian.

            I apologize in advance for my typos and grammatical mishaps.

            DD (17) Graduated!
            Mechanical Engineering

            "School Administrator" to niece (9): MP 3A

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Summer routines

              We try to stay in a bit of a school style routine, because if I slack off completely, it's hard for folks to get back on track. (including me!)

              Right now, we're striving for balance and sanity. We've been pretty busy wrapping up spring sports (soccer and baseball), and all of the children will be attending some sort of day camp this summer --- soccer, equestrian camps, and tennis. Physical activity ranks high on our priorities.

              Our summer is often one of service as well. 2 of my children actually WORK the equestrian camps -- so 40+ hours of sweating while serving.


              At the moment, we're doing Math every day; chores, and then relaxing --- going to the pool, some screen time, or (this week) piling up together to watch World Cup. Maeve is working hard on her 100 Days of Summer Reading - I've been making trips to the library 3 or 4 times per week!

              Once the camp schedule settles down, we will be doing some pre-reading for the fall, as well as going ahead and starting in with some of our subjects.
              2022-23: Year 12 of homeschooling with MP

              DD1 - 27 - college grad, bakery owner
              DD2 - 16 - 11th grade - HLS Cottage School - online classes, Dual Credit - equestrian &theatre
              DS3 - 14 -7A Cottage School - soccer/tennis/aviation -dyslexia &dysgraphia
              DS4 -14 - 7A Cottage School -soccer/tennis/aviation -auditory processing disorder
              DD5 - 10- Mash up of SC levels and standard MP, Cottage School - inattentive ADHD - equestrian &tumbling
              DS6 - 8 - MP 1/SC -- 2E cutie with dyslexia, dysgraphia &ADHD

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Summer routines

                Sarah, I somehow missed that you were moving again too! I know last summer we moved about the same time. I’ll keep you all in our prayers.

                OP,
                I always imagine lazy summer days and have this lovely idea of what that that looks like. I don’t think I’ve ever actually witnessed one though! I’m not sure I saw your children’s ages, just disregard anything that doesn’t apply. My children do read quite a bit and study Latin and math flashcards. Since our move last summer, we now have a pool in our backyard. Our house has become quite popular! We regularly have friends and family over to swim, which means we have to keep our house clean. Summer is a great time to teach everyone the correct way to do chores. Something else we’ve been working on is trying to give the oldest more privileges, because he definitely carries the bulk of responsibility. One fun way we found to do that was purchasing a book for him to train the dogs to do new tricks. Of course, all the children want to help. We have made everyone aware that it’s up to him. He alone is in charge of training dogs in our house, and it’s a win for me because it’s one less thing I have to do. We planted a pretty decent size vegetable garden for the first time this summer. A few of my kids have taken to gardening. Cooking is another great thing to learn in summer. Family bike rides, hiking, star gazing, bird watching, whittling, painting.... all enjoyable activities.
                Joyfully, Courtney
                DS14, DS12, DS11, DD9

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Summer routines

                  OP- we do math (30 minutes), read something (target is 45 minutes but often longer), and music practice on weekdays. We have our school room tore apart right now, so that is our afternoon project. Also, 4H related things, art classes, kayaking and volunteering. Dd pushes back a little, but our days are so much better with some structure. Dd does do some screen/ phone time, but we have limits.
                  Bean. Long time MP user. Almost retired homeschool mom and university faculty/ librarian.

                  I apologize in advance for my typos and grammatical mishaps.

                  DD (17) Graduated!
                  Mechanical Engineering

                  "School Administrator" to niece (9): MP 3A

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Summer routines

                    Originally posted by RunnerJoy View Post

                    Something else we’ve been working on is trying to give the oldest more privileges, because he definitely carries the bulk of responsibility.
                    This is EXCELLENT advice, and something I need to consider as well. Rachel is expected to do more, because she's the oldest, and quite frankly, quite capable. I need to think about ways to expand privileges for her.

                    When I returned from Cincinnati for GHC, my kids bowled me over as I walked in the door --- all except Rachel. I went to find her, and gently chided her for not saying she missed me.

                    She responded, "I DID miss you, and I'm so glad you're home. I'm TIRED of being the foremost female around here."
                    I laughed so hard --- for the reference to classical education, for her fiery spirit, and the reminder that she is very much like her mother. She gets a little weary of shouldering the big burdens around here. #oldestchildproblems
                    2022-23: Year 12 of homeschooling with MP

                    DD1 - 27 - college grad, bakery owner
                    DD2 - 16 - 11th grade - HLS Cottage School - online classes, Dual Credit - equestrian &theatre
                    DS3 - 14 -7A Cottage School - soccer/tennis/aviation -dyslexia &dysgraphia
                    DS4 -14 - 7A Cottage School -soccer/tennis/aviation -auditory processing disorder
                    DD5 - 10- Mash up of SC levels and standard MP, Cottage School - inattentive ADHD - equestrian &tumbling
                    DS6 - 8 - MP 1/SC -- 2E cutie with dyslexia, dysgraphia &ADHD

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Summer routines

                      Originally posted by bean View Post
                      You are moving again? I've been off the board and miss stuff... Goodness. I will say moving keeps the belongings streamlined. I hope it goes smoothly for you!
                      Yep...last year when he took this new job, his boss needed someone here but he knew we were trying to make our way closer to “home” (I.e. aging parents). So last year’s move got us halfway home. And then a role opened up this year that gets us the rest of the way. We will be two hours from one set of parents, and three from the other - which is great.

                      Hoping this is “it” for a good long while!

                      AMDG,
                      Sarah
                      2020-2021
                      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                      DS, 17
                      DD, 15
                      DD, 13
                      DD, 11
                      DD, 9
                      DD, 7
                      +DS+
                      DS, 2

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Summer routines

                        I have younger ones and my husband is deployed so I needed a way to provide some structure while not staying in teacher mode. I created screen time checklists. It’s 7 things including some independent school work to be completed before they have the privilege of screens. It removes the decision making from me. Some pieces of our normal rountine stick around like morning and evening routines but in general we enjoy the relaxed nature of summer.

                        ETA: To all of you moving this summer, blessings to you.
                        Heidi

                        For 2022-23
                        dd- 7th
                        ds- 4th
                        dd- 2nd
                        ds- adding smiles and distractions

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Summer routines

                          Originally posted by VAmom View Post
                          I have younger ones and my husband is deployed so I needed a way to provide some structure while not staying in teacher mode. I created screen time checklists. It’s 7 things including some independent school work to be completed before they have the privilege of screens. It removes the decision making from me. Some pieces of our normal rountine stick around like morning and evening routines but in general we enjoy the relaxed nature of summer.

                          ETA: To all of you moving this summer, blessings to you.
                          I've been thinking about something similar to this- a checklist of tasks to be completed. May I ask what sort of items are on your list?
                          2 boys, 5th and 3rd grade cores
                          6 and 3 year old girls in Montessori school

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Summer routines

                            Originally posted by musdir26 View Post
                            I've been thinking about something similar to this- a checklist of tasks to be completed. May I ask what sort of items are on your list?
                            I’m happy to share! My eldest is 8 and she has to get ready for the day (dressed, brush teeth and hair, make a bed), take care of her animals, clean a space for 15 minutes, do flashcards for 10 minutes and do two workbook pages. The workbook pages are usually activities we didn’t complete during the school year in usually in the core subjects. She alternates between math and Latin flashcards. My just turned 6 year old son has the same list but less time (10 minutes of cleaning, 5 minutes for flashcards and one workbook page.)

                            I didn’t include reading because free reading and audiobooks are a natural part of our day.
                            HTH!
                            Heidi

                            For 2022-23
                            dd- 7th
                            ds- 4th
                            dd- 2nd
                            ds- adding smiles and distractions

                            Comment

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